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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Government launches Christmas drink drive campaign

The government is today launching its annual THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign, which is specifically targeting young males, as figures show they account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on our roads. The campaign will target young men through Facebook, Twitter and Spotify, with 5.4 million British males aged 25 to 34 on Facebook alone – the highest single demographic.
Kent police breathalyzer test

Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said: "Drink driving destroys families and ruins lives, yet some reckless drivers continue to take the risk and get behind the wheel after drinking – particularly young men who account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on our roads."

"We have some of the safest roads in the world and deaths from drink driving have fallen significantly over the last 30 years, but it is still responsible for the deaths of 5 people every week. This Christmas we are specifically targeting the biggest perpetrators of this devastating crime – young men, but our message to everyone remains the same: don’t drink and drive." The Minister added.

The government say that a new advert will be posted on Twitter or Facebook everyday throughout December playing on the concept of FOMO ‘fear of missing out’. The adverts aim to make it clear to young men that they have plenty to live for the following day, which they may not see if they choose to have a second drink.

Research carried out for the Department for Transport found 20% of young men have had 2 or more drinks before driving and an extra 11% say they have considered it – with a third of adults telling researchers they felt it wouldn’t impact on their driving. However, research from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) shows a second drink doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a fatality.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, the national roads policing spokesperson, said: Police officers on patrols over the Christmas and New Year period will be specifically targeting people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and we will also be doing roadside testing, so we can make instant arrests."

"Our message is very simple and very clear – you are breaking the law, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you and the consequences of doing so will plague you for the rest of your life." CC Davenport added.

THINK! has also teamed up with a number of partnership organisations, including Coca-Cola, Arriva and Budweiser to offer drivers solutions to avoid drink driving such as two-for-one on soft drinks for drivers and free taxis for those enjoying the festivities on Christmas Eve. The campaign will run on THINK!’s Facebook and Twitter channels from 1st to 31st of December, to support the police’s drink and drug drive enforcement campaign.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Lewisham police appeal for witnesses after 2 officers were attacked by 30 'school children'

Police in Lewisham are appealing for information and witnesses to a vicious attack on two police officers and are urging anyone with mobile phone footage of the incident to come forward. At approximately 16:00hrs on Wednesday, 9 November, two uniformed officers were violently assaulted by a group of up to 30 schoolchildren in Goodwood Road near the junction with New Cross Road, SE14.

The officers approached the group during routine patrols of the area and noticed a large knife being concealed by a young male. After attempting to search the suspect, one of the officers was violently punched in the face several times by some of the other youths, causing him to fall to the ground. 

The second officer stepped in to help her colleague and in doing so was also punched in the jaw. The group continued to assault the officer on the floor by repeatedly kicking him in the head, leaving him with serious bruising and damaging his mobile phone. He was taken to a south London hospital as a precaution for his injuries.

A 15-year-old male was arrested at the scene on suspicion of actual bodily harm and was taken to a south-London police station. He has been bailed to a date in mid-December. Officers are aware that a number of members of the public witnessed the attack and captured it on their mobile phones, and are now urging those people to come forward and speak to police.

Detective Sergeant Jenny White, of Lewisham Police, said: "I'm appealing to anyone who witnessed this shocking attack on two officers to come forward and speak with us, particularly anyone with mobile phone footage of the incident.

"It happened at a very busy time of the day and there would've been a large number of people in the area. These officers go to work every day to keep the public safe and this demonstrates the dangers the police can face while carrying out these duties." DS White added.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Lewisham CID on 020 8284 8365 or 101 - alternatively get in touch with Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Labour defection gives NHAP their first councillor

Councillor Mark Jarnell, who was an Independent Councillor for Chorley in Lancashire, after leaving the Labour party a couple of weeks ago, has been approved by the NHA national executive to become the party’s first representative in England and he has formally notified his Council of the change. There is no indication that Mark Jarnell will trigger a by-election to seek a mandate from the electorate after originally being elected as a Labour councillor in 2014.

Commenting on his defection Mark Jarnell said: "I am very proud to be the current serving Chorley Borough Councillor for the Euxton South ward. Through this work and the challenges I face to support my community in these difficult times I have gained valuable insight into the workings of the council and its links to the NHS".

"I know what the real impact across the country of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans will be and I see the NHA taking a stand to oppose the damage being done. I have become disillusioned with the direction of the three main parties who are all complicit in the plans for the backdoor privatisation of the NHS. I was an Independent ​C​ouncillor, but now I am officially NHA’s first council representative in England. I hope others will follow my lead." Mark Jarnell commented.

Dr Paul Hobday, the NHA party leader said, "We are delighted by Cllr Jarnell’s decision. There is a transfer of responsibility taking place from central to local government, at speed and seemingly under duress. It is essential that we have voices at all levels speaking out about what is really happening."

"The National Health Action Party welcomes Cllr Jarnell and are happy to hear from other
​C​ouncillors who are concerned about the destruction of our public services." Paul Hobday added.

A local Labour councillor was asked for a comment but did not respond.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Lib Dems attack the Tories' record on green energy

Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson Baroness Lynne Featherstone has accused the Conservative government of trashing the previous coalition government’s green legacy. Attacking the Tories Baroness Featherstone accused them of slashing subsidies for renewable energy while spending billions subsidising Hinkley Point.

The government’s own impact assessment has predicted up to 19,000 job losses in the wind and solar sector. The Liberal Democrats are debating a package of measures to new green industrial strategy at their conference in Brighton.

Speaking at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton Baroness Lynne Featherstone said: "The Coalition was the greenest government ever. We tripled the amount of electricity from renewable sources and set up the Green Investment Bank. On their own, the Conservatives have gone backwards."

Turning her attention to the government's decision to give the go ahead to Hinkley point Baroness Featherstone said: "The eye-wateringly expensive Hinkley power station has been given the green light, while the solar industry is being ripped apart. Huge damage has been done to an industry on the verge of becoming subsidy-free."

"Our renewables industry can thrive with the right investment. It has huge potential for generating profits, creating jobs and exporting to the world’s rapidly expanding green markets. It’s time the Conservatives started valuing the green economy - for its business potential if not for its environmental benefits." Lynne Featherstone added

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

If you believe in Britain then there is only one choice

We all know why David Cameron called the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. He called it as he was worried about UKIP taking seats from the Tories at the 2015 general election and he was hoping to sooth Tory divisions on Europe. As a plan it was going well, after all he never expected to get a majority in the 2015 election and those pesky Lib Dems wouldn't support a referendum so he could blame them for not keeping his promise. This is where the Prime Minister fell down. The Tory campaign to keep Labour out with their SNP-Labour coalition propaganda worked too well. It helped swing Lib Dem voters in the South West and West London to swing behind the Tories to keep Labour out.

So he had a majority and for about thirty seconds of enjoyment before Euro-sceptic Tory MPs were on his back and worse hitting the airwaves, doing the one thing the Prime Minister had asked them not to do, they were "banging on about Europe". Now ever since Mrs Thatcher's time in the late 1980s the Tories have been divided over Europe. The Major government was nearly brought down by Tory rebels on Europe. Only reason Sir John Major remained in office was because the Lib Dems were whipped into the lobby to support him over the Maastrict treaty. William Hague as Leader managed to get agreement on 'in Europe but not run by Europe' and that line held until the Prime Minister conceded referendum.

Now the Prime Minister said when making the case for the referendum that the United Kingdom could survive outside the European Union. Of course we could but he doesn't want to. Now the Remain campaign which has been fronted by David Cameron and George Osborne it has been 'project fear' there have been wild claims from them both. Such as suggesting world war three could break out if we left Europe. The Treasury have been suggesting the UK could go into recession, all independent economic forecasters agree. George Osborne has been making a claim that every house hold in Britain would be £4,300 worse off that one isn't true and the Treasury select committee told him to stop using it.

The Remain campaign should have made the positive case for remaining in the EU for Britain but instead we've had claims from the Prime Minister about the danger the United Kingdom faces if we left the European Union. While on a visit to B&Q he used, probably the worst sound bite ever, "it'll be a DIY recession" if we leave. It did mean that the less polite chaps/chapesses in the media did ask him if it put the UK is so much danger why did he call the referendum. He just said it was right to give the public a vote on it. After covering much of it, I can't say I agree with him.

Why don't I agree with him? Well its not just 'project fear' that we have had, we've also had 'project fibs' from the main leave campaign. We've all seen Boris' bus with the £350m lie on the side. Vote Leave were instructed to remove it by the UK statistics authority & by the Treasury select committee. It was this lie that in the end forced Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston to switch sides, after the Vote Leave claimed that money could be used for the National Health Service. The amount membership costs the UK is £10bn. A lot of money but Boris & Co have spent it 10 times over during this campaign. 

Vote Leave also claim that Turkey are going to join the EU, they're not. Cyprus have been vetoing Turkish accession talks and are refusing to remove that veto. They are also claiming that there will be a European army. There wont be as it would lead to a transfer of power to Brussels and another referendum before the UK could sign up to it, rough guess the people would say no. They have also been concentrating on immigration a tactic that Sadiq Khan called "project hate"

Vote Leave excluded Nigel Farage and his band of followers from their campaign. Although they have been stealing his policies such as points based immigration system. Mr Farage launched a poster the other day which was almost identical to a poster used by the National Socialist Party in Germany in the 1930s. Its known as the 'breaking point' poster and has been described as "racist", "intolerant", "bigoted", "xenophobic" and of "dragging politics into the gutter". Leave.EU, the campaign Mr Farage is a member of, put out a poster which claimed that an Orlando style attack could happen if we didn't leave the European Union, they took it down after a media firestorm.

Like in any election/referendum the politicians make claims and counter claims and argue among themselves. Well in a general election if a party tells porkies to get themselves elected you can throw them out at the following election, as the Liberal Democrats found out last year. But in this campaign the Leave campaigns have lied about various things already mentioned and tried to whip up tensions over immigration. The Remain campaign have exaggerated fears for the economy about leaving but even when you remove their exaggerated claims the predictions of a recession, higher unemployment are still there from independent experts and on job losses as Michael Gove of vote leave told the Skynews debate "I can't guarantee people wont lose their jobs". 

If we vote to leave it'll mean border controls again between Ulster/Eire border as Ireland would be in the European Union and Northern Ireland would not. Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that if Scotland is taken out of the EU after voting remain it would trigger another Scottish Independence referendum. It will mean tariffs on all British imports and exports. Meaning everyday items such as food will be more expensive. The value of the pound will fall, of which Nigel Farage said "so what". Mr Farage may not have to worry about higher inflation and rising interest rates but the vast majority of people do. If the economy isn't working then Britain isn't working so if you believe in Britain then there is only one choice tomorrow and it is to vote to remain as a member of the European Union.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Brexit will mean more cuts and tax rises say Labour

Labour have today set out new analysis showing what the party say a Tory Brexit Budget would look like if the UK were to leave the European Union. Labour claim the hit to the UK economy caused by leaving the EU would weaken the public finances and leave a Tory Government committed to austerity being forced to set out how they would meet their discredited fiscal targets.

Labour’s analysis of figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that a Tory Brexit Budget will hit our public services and family finances hard.

If the additional Tory austerity was shared equally between cuts to day-to-day public spending, reductions in social security and tax rises, it could mean:

  • Spending: Departmental resource budgets would fall by 2.8 per cent in 2019-20 on top of existing plans. The Department of Health would be cut by £3.5 billion, the Department for Education by £1.6 billion, the Home Office by £300 million and the Ministry of Defence by £800 million.
  • Social security: The Tories would need make cuts to social security reductions which are the equivalent of: re-introducing the cuts to Personal Independence Payments they tried to get through in March’s Budget; increasing the taper rate for Universal Credit, hitting low-paid working people; and abolishing child benefit and rolling it into Universal Credit
  • Tax: The Tories would need to increase taxes, for instance increasing VAT to 22 per cent, in order to make up the difference

Commenting Labour’s Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, said: "Austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. If the UK was to vote to leave the European Union we know the Tories would choose more austerity to deal with the economic fall-out and meet their discredited fiscal promises."

Mr Watson continued: "Leave campaigners like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove need to tell the British public what a Tory Brexit would mean in terms of the public finances and further austerity. But what is clear is that working people across the country would pay the price of leaving the EU– through cuts to public services, social security cuts and higher taxes like another Tory VAT rise. This is the price of Tory Brexit. It is a price that Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and the like are happy for other people to pay."

"Britain is faced with a fundamental choice: whether to choose jobs and growth by voting to remain, or to choose exit and the Tory cuts and tax rises that would bring. Working people would be hurt by a vote to leave. Labour won’t stand by while that happens so we’re redoubling our efforts and saying loud and clear: we’re in for Britain." Tom Watson added.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Labour say there could be 160,000 extra homes by 2020 if UK remains within the EU

The Labour party is today providing, what they call, a "positive alternative to a Tory Brexit" by setting out their plans to use the European Union to double the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) commitment to funding social housing provision (currently 20,000 homes) in order to bring the UK’s per capita share of funding in line with the EU average.

Labour claim that if the United Kingdom moved to the European Union average of per capita EIB investment then it would increase funding from £5.6 billion last year to £8 billion. 

Labour say they would learn from best practice from devolved administrations across the UK on how to improve the quantity and quality of proposals sent to the EIB. This could mean a possible annual £2.4 billion increase in funding (almost £10 billion by 2020) available for UK businesses, which could then be used to help tackle issues like the UK’s housing crisis.

For example, if applied next year it could fund 40,000 homes a year, which over the next four years to 2020 could mean 160,000 new affordable homes. And a potential of an additional 65,000 jobs each year.

Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, said: "Labour wants to remain and reform Europe so that we can better use the levers of power inside the EU to ensure our country punches its weight in the world and better delivers for all working people. The opportunities to build a better world will be with a Labour vote to remain in the EU, not a Tory Brexit. Labour wants to build a better Europe and that can start by using the EU to increase investment that could be used to build more homes here, and help tackle the Tory housing crisis."

Attacking the Chancellor, George Osborne, John McDonnell said: "With George Osborne clinging to his failed austerity policies, and cutting investment despite the overwhelming consensus from businesses, trade unions, and economists to support boosting it, there is an urgent need to deliver the investment spending we need for 21st century infrastructure like high speed rail and high speed broadband, as well as solving the housing crisis."

Turning his fire onto the Conservative government, Mr McDonnell said: "The Tories are failing to take the opportunities that the European Investment Bank provides, leaving Britain with a lower than average investment from this shared institution. With the EU now committed to expanding investment across Europe through the £250 billion Juncker Plan, we need a government that will step up to the mark and deliver for working people here. The money’s there but the Tories aren’t making the most of it."

"If they weren’t consumed with bickering over a Tory Brexit, then the Tories could raise their game and help make sure that increased investment helps put in place the foundations for a secure economy, not the recovery built on sand that George Osborne has created. Increasing EIB investment in the UK to the EU average would mean an extra £2.4 billion a year, which could help build 160,000 new homes to address the housing crisis and creating a potential 65,000 jobs every year. Labour won’t stand by and allow Britain’s potential in Europe go to waste under a Tory Brexit." John McDonnell added.